Kwibuka25: Rwandans in UK, Ireland commemorate

Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in the United Kingdom and Ireland held separate commemoration events to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and honour the victims.

Mourners included government officials from their respective countries as well as Rwandan officials and Rwandans living, working and studying in the two countries.

In England, over 300 Rwandans were on Saturday joined by members of Parliament, government officials from the East Midlands city, including the Lord Mayor of Nottingham and Lilian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South.

Greenwood has been amongst the vocal contributors at the UK Parliament, calling for extradition of the genocide suspects living in the UK. 

The Chair of the National Association of Rwandan Communities in the UK, John Binama, stressed the need for the world to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi.

“If we do not talk about the genocide, the world will never know about it,” he said.

Genocide survivor and resident of Nottingham, Beata Uwazaninka, shared her testimony on how she survived.

Michael Gray, Director of Studies at Harrow School, said without commemorating the genocide the world wouldn’t the meticulous planning that went into the systematic planning of the genocide.

He called for a shared duty to challenge and explain misconceptions of the Genocide ensuring survivors have a voice.

The expert remarked that Rwanda is a model for the world and that the world should follow its example of embracing unity and reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Trinity International Development Initiative, in partnership with the Rwandan High Commission in the UK held a commemoration event at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland.

The event saw Ambassadors, heads of institutions, scholars, Irish government officials, members of civil society, friends of Rwanda and Rwandans living in Ireland, join together to remember and honour the over 1 million lives lost, comfort those who survived and pay tribute to Rwanda’s healing and rebuilding over the last 25 years.

Ambassador Kevin Kelly, Special Envoy of the Government of Ireland joined Yamina Karitanyi, Rwanda’s Ambassador to UK and non-resident Ambassador of Rwanda to Ireland, to light a candle in honour of the victims of the Genocide.

In her address, Karitanyi thanked the people and government of Ireland for their friendship and for “lighting a candle with Rwanda” emphasising the significance of fighting the genocide ideology and injustice in building a better world for future generations.

Relations between Rwanda and Ireland have strengthened greatly in recent years with on-going education and development partnerships between the two countries, and shared commitments to tackle climate change.

Mr Jim Clarken, CEO, Oxfam Ireland.

Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi delivers remarks.

HE Kevin Kelly, Special Envoy of the Government of Ireland.

Dr Susan Murphy, Director of TIDI.

Mr John Binama, Chair of the National Association of Rwandan Communities in the UK.

Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Liaqat Ali.

Community Elder, Jonathan Kaliisa Kalemera.

Young person learning from exhibition materials on the Genocide.

Ms Beata Uwazaninka delivers testimony.

Llilian Greenwood MP, Labour MP for Nottingham South, lights a candle in honour of the victims of the Genocide.

Dr Andrew Wallis speaking at Kwibuka25 Dublin.

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